21 Photos To Make You Island Hop In The Azores

22 Feb,2018 By jagabond

Planning your Azores itinerary can be tricky. The main island of Sao Miguel can easily consume 5-7 days. Should you then start hopping to the other islands? After my experience, I vote yes. I’ll tell my story in slideshow format, recounting my Azores adventure in twenty-one shots from Pico, Faial and Terceira.

1. These bluish-purple flowers grow everywhere on the islands. The hydrangea is the national flower of Azores, and provides a wonderful accent to the long fields of green.

purple blue flower azores island portugal pico faial

2. Of all the photos I’ve taken, this is my favorite. While driving up Monte Brasil on Terceira, this deer calmly posed for a picture. Was I calm? Not really. Realizing the photo opportunity I had, my hands were shaking. I steadied them just in time.

azores terceira island deer nature wildlife portugal

3. Fishermen and boats from all over frequent the Horta port on Faial, due to the location of Azores at the midpoint of North America and Europe. Visitors paint something at the port symbolizing their presence. From the looks of it, a few ships might’ve had artists as stowaways. Walking around here is like taking a street art tour.

port art mural azores faial island portugal

4. The Azores are a collection of volcanic islands. Mount Pico is the largest mountain in the Azores, and last erupted way back in the 18th century.

mount pico island volcano nature mountain azores portugal

5. On Pico you can drive up a volcano, and on Terceira you can go inside one. The Algar do Carvao is a lava tube that was opened up for tourism only recently.

volcano azores terceira inside nature mountain island portugal

6. Speaking of volcanoes, Faial boasts views of a beautiful caldera. The volcano might be long extinct, but the lush flora has prospered.

faial volcano azores island nature lush portugal caldera

7. The aforementioned picture of the deer is majestic, while this one is just…natural? Pico must be a hotspot for bovine love.

pico cow cows humping mountain nature azores island portugal

8. From cows to steak. O Cachalote Restaurante on Terceira is pure bliss for the stomach. Simply take a raw piece of beef and cook to your liking on a smoking lava rock. What an experience.

steak restaurant angra terceira island lava rock azores portugal

9. This stunning view is of Horta, capital of Faial. Some guy named Peter opened a pub decades ago that grew in popularity, culminating in a visit by Anthony Bourdain. Peter’s hands are all over the town, with many boat tours operated by a company he owns. All hail King Peter!

horta port faial island peter sport cafe bourdain azores portugal

10. Pico is the Azorean hub for wine, and the vineyards are unlike most I’ve seen. Volcanic rocks stabilize the plants from strong winds, and the unique soil produces novel flavors.

pico island wine vineyard volcanic black rock azores portugal

11. Churches in Azores tend to look eerily similar – mostly white on the outside with blue and white tiles inside. The Se Cathedral was different, mostly due to the strange depictions for the Stations of the Cross. Modern images mix with the biblical story of Jesus’s crucifixion to produce an intriguing result. Does showing a mushroom cloud in church totally kill the spiritual vibe?

church terceira island azores portugal cathedral stations of the cross mushroom cloud

12. Who hasn’t tried to capture a religious statue with a ray of sunlight in hopes of yielding a heavenly image? This is my attempt.

faial island religious black and white azores portugal statue

13. Back to Pico and the wine culture, these are grapes growing from the terrace of a private residence. While looking for a restaurant, a friendly couple invited us to their home for traditional meats and cheeses. The man also let us sample his homemade liquor. Travel is a great way to experience the kindness of strangers.

pico island wine vineyard grapes stranger home garden azores portugal

14. Angra do Heroismo is the capital of Terceira. It also is the Azorean city that most resembles something you’d see on mainland Portugal. Hilly streets, hip shopping options and cool cafes predominate.

terceira island angra azores portugal view

15. Natural water bodies are everywhere across the islands. When driving around, always travel with your swimming gear in case the opportunity arises.

natural swimming hole azores pico faial sao miguel island portugal

16. If swimming gets boring, try snorkeling. Purchase a cheap snorkel at a beach shop and check out the sea life before it ends up on your plate at the local restaurant.

snorkeling snorkel natural water ocean azores island portugal pico faial sao miguel

17. Bull fighting isn’t my favorite sport, but it’s a cultural tradition on Terceira. I wouldn’t attend a match, but I can admire this cool statue of two bulls readying for battle.

bull fight fighting azores terceira island portugal angra

18. The Lighthouse of Capelinhos on Faial is another symbol of the volcanic history of the Azores. An enormous eruption in the late 1950s buried the bottom portion in ash, leaving behind what’s seen here.

lighthouse faial island azores ocean view volcano portugal

19. There are few traditional bars in the Azores. One of the best is Cella Bar on Pico. This has a modern feel, vast wine list, and unique menu creations.

cella bar pico island azores portugal wine

20. How do you build houses on volcanic islands? By using volcanic rocks, of course! House designers are lucky that black goes with everything.

faial pico island azores volcano volcanic rock house portugal

21. Like cliff diving? It’s a thing here. Close your eyes and jump…and pray you miss the jagged rocks below. Though I’m trying to conquer my fears one-by-one, I’ll likely never do this.

cliff diving azores portugal island terceira faial pico sao miguel ocean cliffs

2 Responses to “21 Photos To Make You Island Hop In The Azores”

  1. Mary clouser Says:

    I’m enjoying these
    Hope the blogging is going well
    M

  2. jagabond Says:

    Thanks for reading, Mary! 🙂

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